The video above is NBC4’s original report of Tenpenny falsely claiming that the COVID-19 vaccine can lead to magnetism.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A Cleveland doctor who falsely claimed coronavirus vaccines cause magnetism is under investigation by the state medical board.
Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, an osteopathic physician, is at risk of losing her license after she ignored investigators and failed to comply with a subpoena issued by the 12-member medical board that’s tasked with overseeing Ohio doctors and their licenses, according to a citation issued against her last month.
A spokesperson for the state medical board could not provide additional details as to what prompted the investigation, as Ohio law mandates confidentiality in ongoing investigations.
A long-time vaccination opponent who received her medical license in 1984, Tenpenny made national headlines in June 2021 for erroneously asserting to state lawmakers that 5G cell towers can “interface” with the vaccine to magnetize its recipients.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized,” Tenpenny told the Ohio House Health Committee. “They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them, and they can stick.”
OhioHealth infectious disease specialist Dr. Joseph Gastaldo told NBC4 last year that Tenpenny’s testimony was “pure science fiction.” COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that produce an electromagnetic field, nor do they contain metallic material, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s obviously very unfortunate, this person is terribly misinformed and really it just boils down to being purely science fiction,” Gastaldo said.
About a month after Tenpenny pushed lawmakers to support House Bill 248 – a now-stalled bill that aimed to prohibit mandatory vaccinations – an investigator with the state medical board tried to contact her to no avail, according to the citation.
Tenpenny did not respond to the board’s inquiries until September 2021, in which she said via her attorney that the board had no lawful basis for its investigation and that she refused to participate. She continued to flout the board’s subpoena issued in October 2021 until receiving a citation – prompting her to request an administrative hearing be held on April 7, 2023.
Although Tenpenny’s attorney has not been confirmed, the board carbon-copied Thomas Renz, an anti-vaccination lawyer based in Sandusky, on the letter informing Tenpenny that she had been cited.
A video recording of Renz, who did not respond to NBC4’s request for comment, was removed from YouTube after the platform determined his speech violated their terms of service by spreading COVID-19 misinformation.
On Renz’ website, he shared Tenpenny’s “riveting and lifesaving” testimony before the Health Committee, touting it as a must-watch video.
The board said it will determine whether to limit, revoke or suspend Tenpenny’s license at her administrative hearing in April, where she can present evidence and examine witnesses who testify for or against her.